Trifecta: Autocorrect, Autopilot and Mindlessness
I screwed up. I am unusually busy right now, and I have not been as mindful going through my days as usual. Fortunately, my screw up didn’t result in any lasting, serious consequences, but it was sufficient to shake me out of coasting on autopilot.
Here is my mea culpa. My electronic calendar showed I was meeting Ellen at Starbuck’s at 4:00. Without having confirmed this with Ellen because, well, I was zipping through my day, I showed up at the Starbuck’s I assumed was our meeting place. By 4:10, when Ellen was a no-show, I called and left a voicemail message letting her know I was there. By 4:25, when I hadn’t heard back from Ellen, I left another message saying I was going to pick up a few items in the store next door and she should call me when she arrives. By 4:40, when it was clear Ellen wasn’t coming, I got into my car and checked my email before driving off. That was my light bulb moment.
There was an email from Elly (not Ellen) saying she waited for me until 4:25 at (a different) Starbuck’s and then left. *Cringe* I immediately realized what happened.
My phone knows my friend Ellen very well. It is used to seeing Ellen’s name. My phone doesn’t know Elly because this was to be our first meeting. So my phone did what any good smart phone does: autocorrected Elly to Ellen.
But I can’t blame my phone, an inanimate object with limited judgement. While coasting on autopilot, I didn’t spend even a half second to double check my calendar entry. I hit “save” and moved on.
Actually, this lesson came as a relief, as many good life lessons do. After my apologies to both Elly and Ellen, I pressed my internal pause button, took a deep breath, and reset my mental speed at which I was traveling. Not only did I want to avoid more mistakes, but I wanted to take in, fully experience, and enjoy my days. Feeling the sunshine, walking my two cute dogs, enjoying “conversations” with my funny bird, crunching on leaves on the sidewalk, sleeping with open windows as the weather cools… these are what “fill me up” every single day. I want to savor them, not just get through them and onto the next thing.
Do you identify with my story? If you are on autopilot, don’t wait for autocorrect to wake you up. You can start being more mindful right now. Pause and take a deep breath. Look around. Notice. Observe. Listen. Smell.
You can repay me for learning from my trifecta mistake by buying me a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s. I promise I’ll show up.